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Archive for the ‘Spleen and Ideal’ Category

Translated by Troy Martin

Rest, my love –
Your bland expression fixed and sculpted as your hair
Severe as the black marble of this monument.
The one plunked down to mark your dripping pit,
Hemmed in by gravel, clay, and grit,
Can you be unaware that it’s your final dwelling?

Your breast, my love –
It couldn’t move if there were space or there was air.
No travel, only shifting with the continents.
Is pressure from the walls against your thighs
Relief compared to when those guys
Wrung out your guts and dried your eyes to ease the swelling?

Your tomb it tells me everything forever
(For a tomb knows best a poet’s heart).
Your tomb nags at your spirit as to whether
Your mastery of the unfaithful arts

Aided in negotiating terms
For your foul afterlife? As worms
Devour your flesh for every course,
Your soul is meat for your remorse.

[Original poem here.]

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Translated by John Szymanski

Hear her prowling in my thoughts
louder than her silent mews
A beautiful, a charming cat
striding gentle beast so smooth

if her voice reveals her strife
tones both rich and growly deep
her tender timbre, secret smile
veers so quiet and discreet

her purring drone unlocks my heart
reveals a porthole to my soul
with notions turned to plangent verse
as if her potion made me whole

to hear her voice, she brings to me
a wordless vibrant strain
I hear her voice, I feel alive
no longer I feel pain

the finest bow, the softest pick
will never match her touch
the purest song from my heartstrings
she manages to coax
and gives it velvet harmonies
like angels from on high
this cat, a subtle mystery
sophisticated muse

From the gold and brownish strands
Making up her shiny coat
Her essence wrapped me in its hold
Even after just one touch

She holds court in her domain
Judges, presides and inspires
Maybe she’s a fairy
Or all knowing as a god

Her magnetic gaze attracts
My eyes to hers, and hers to mine
soon I’m drawn into myself
To ponder my collected life

reflecting her pale eyes of fire
I ‘m left in living wonder still
Of clearest beacons, living opals
fixed like targets on my frame

[Original poem here.]

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Translated by David Costanza

There’s no escaping it, come Hell or High Water,
Sailing over plastic, dreaming in the gutter,
Penniless Jesus-Freak, or rich mother-fucker
Hear the anchor-man say: “There’s no use! So, why bother?”

Celibate, GGG, Pangender, Boot-Licker,
An Arm-Chair Alarmist, A Climate-Change Denyer
Feel the same dull defeat, the plot getting thicker
Under Heaven’s blank stare, boiling on the same fire.

Heaven! We choke on it!
The lift goes no higher!

Our blood-thirsty theatre
That feeds on the choir.

It’s trash day, the gigs up!
Go Home Now! Retire.

[Original poem here.]

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The rising sun has such splendid esteem
Like an explosion he hurls down “Hello!”
And blessed is she who exalts in his glow
At his bedtime, more lustrous than a dream

I’ve seen them all, the furrow and stream
Swoon under his gaze in a trembling state
“Let’s run towards the horizon, it’s late!
We must run fast to catch the last slanting beams!”

But when I chase after the God who withdraws
I find that vast Night has laid down the law
Black, moist, baleful, and full of chills

The smell of a tomb swims in the fog
My trembling foot probes the edge of a bog
Finding unexpected toads and snails

[Original poem here.]

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Translated by Chris Schoen

Once all the scarlet lovers vowed
To leave none of their joys unspoken
Now look at me, my arms are broken
For I had dared to clasp a cloud

Farewell to every star but one
Gleaming in the deepest skies
The only lights my scalded eyes
Can see are memories of the sun

It all seemed to be mine for the taking
The bosom and the heart of space
And then an eye of fire–what is this place?
Suddenly my wings are breaking

By beauty I am burned to dust
Never to intone the prayer
Christening the inky Nowhere
Where I will never lie in rest

[See the original poem here.]

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Translated by Bradley Grant Smith

Tell me does your heart ever try to fly away, Agatha?
Far from the green waters of this filthy city
To an island blue and magical
With waters of untouched virginity?
Tell me does your heart ever try to fly away, Agatha?

The sea, the endless sea consoles us in our prison
Some demon taught the sea to sing and the winds will let us listen
To lullaby our greasy eyes to sleep.
The sea, the endless sea consoles us in our prison.

O, how far off you are, and how far you’ll always be
My sweet dream of paradise
Where blue skies keep watch over our love
And each thing we’ve loved we’re allowed to love twice
Where the sinking heart can kiss the sky above
O, how far off you are, my love

O, love was like Heaven in those early days
Singing and kissing, asleep in the flowers
Behind the hills above the violins played
Carrying magic through the moonlit hours
O, love was like Heaven in those early days

That innocence I’m always longing for
Is it farther off now than my own end?
Through no human cry can the past be restored
No song I sing will ever bring it back again.
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for

[Hear the music here.]

[Original poem here.]

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Translated by Bradley Grant Smith

From that dark and twisted sky
As bleak as what is yet to be
Descend into your empty life
What thoughts? Playboy, answer me!

I love to live where its dark and unstable
I’ll not whine like Ovid, chased from some happy fable

And your dark, red rays reflect
The Hell my heart has come to expect
Loves and respects

[Hear the music here.]

[Original poem here.]

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